Exclusive Interview: 'Bionic Woman' Star Crystal Lowe
Crystal Lowe is one of the stars of the new NBC reimagined version of Bionic Woman, premiering Wednesday, September 26 at 9pm. She plays one of Jaime Sommers' bartending buddies who is kept in the dark about her friend's bionic powers. Crystal spoke to BuddyTV about her start in acting, getting the role in the new show, and her thoughts on Isaiah Washington being cast in a recurring role. Hey, this is John from Buddy TV, and we're talking to Crystal Lowe who will be appearing in the new NBC drama Bionic Woman. Hi, Crystal. Hello, how are you? I'm doing great. Why don't you start by telling our Buddy TV readers how you got started in acting? Oh my God, you don't think people will find this boring? (laughter) Well I started out when I was a little girl, about five, my mom started me out doing plays and whatnot. I didn't think it would catch on, I didn't think that I would want to do it for the rest of my life. But I started from there, I actually started when I was really young, and my mother actually pulled me out. I think that she felt that it was just too competitive, and didn't want that to be the focus of my childhood. And then at 15, I said that's it, I want back, and it's been like that ever since. And how did you get this role in Bionic Woman? Well, I attended the audition like everybody else, but I have worked with Glen Morgan before. He's one of the execs on the show, I did Final Destination 3 with him and Black Christmas. So we definitely had a relationship there, which was great. He's so fantastic to work for, and I'm so happy to be on that show. And so just when it had normal… how many auditions did you have to go in? Did you get a lot of callbacks, or was it just one time and they knew you were the girl? One time, it was great, actually. Again, I've also worked with Glen before, so he kind of has an understanding for me and my work. We had the same goals, so it was a little easier. And now you're playing the best friend of Jaime Sommers in Bionic Woman, and do you get a chance to work with any of the other actors on the show, or is it primarily just you and Michelle Ryan? Well, I haven't yet. Who knows as the scripts come what I'll be doing? I'm guessing the majority of my stuff will be with Michelle, because we are kind of her real-life people. You know, not as the bionic woman, we don't know she's a bionic woman. We won't know, as far as I know for now. So most of my stuff is with her and the girl that plays her younger sister, Lucy Hale, she's fantastic and gorgeous. And so how has it been so far? Did you find yourself just clicking right away with you and Michelle, or did it take some time? No, she's awesome. She's absolutely awesome, and she's so easy to work with. There's always this huge fear of… she's young, she's only 23 or something like that. Early 20s and she's done a ton of stuff on EastEnders back in the U.K., something like 500 episodes, something crazy like that. So you never know if people are gonna have egos or whatever, and she just absolutely has none. So she's just excited about the role herself, I think, and she's really open to meeting everybody else in the cast. And what more, can you tell us any more about your character? Who is she, what does she do? I bartend with Jamie at the bar, I also live upstairs from her, and I have a roommate. She's one of Jamie's other girl friends, and one of my best friends on the show, and she's a funny character. I think you get a little bit of comic relief from her in a kind of serious drama show. She definitely has no problem speaking her mind, and so she feels and thinks she kind of adds some humor to Jaime's life. I would imagine it's a heavy action show, but your character is probably not as involved with a lot of action aspects of the show. No, I wish I was. I'm dying to get a Jackie Chan movie, that's all I wanna do. I want to work with him and fight, but no, in this one I probably won't be. Unless something terrible happens, and she has to save me from something that I don't know about. That's about it, I think. Yeah. So do you get any input, or do you have any suggestions for the producers like, “My character should do this, or my character should find out about it, and then start fighting people?” Well like every other actor, I can suggest all I want, it doesn't mean they're gonna listen to any of it. I can sit in my trailer and keep going on and on, they just, they're pretty open towards things. The directors are really cool, and they're really open to listening to what you think. You know they would be like, “Give suggestions,” and stuff like that, but we'll see. I'll start getting it in there, I want to turn evil and take one of her boyfriends or something, and we have to fight. And with the involvement of people like Katee Sackhoff and David Eick, obviously the show's probably gonna draw a lot of comparisons to their other big show, Battlestar Galactica. Were you a fan of that, or are you a fan of that? I actually haven't seen it. I know that I should, because I've heard that it's a really great show. You know what's funny, is that there are already comparisons, which I think is strange because the show didn't come out yet. You know, people are on the Internet, people are all over the place going, “Oh, why'd they bring new people in?” Or, “Thank God they're in, they're gonna make the show.” I mean let the show come out, watch it, and then you can make comparisons. But I don't think the two of them are anything alike. Yeah well, they at least have in common that they're taking an older, kind of cheesier show and making it more modern. So how would you say this comparison, are you familiar with the original Bionic Woman, and how does it compare to that? I am. I have seen, I did see it a little bit when I was young, but not a lot. I know my parents, my mom loved the show, my whole family used to watch it when they were kids. I think this is a totally different show, I think that they definitely are bringing in a lot of elements for character, but they're not the same. I mean, she's a bartender, she's not a schoolteacher. That's a huge change right in itself. When you do that to a character, being a schoolteacher to being a bartender, that's different professions. That changes the kind of character. And just from talking to Michelle, I think she really wants to make this her own. I don't think she wants to have comparisons, because she's trying to make this new and fresh. It's 2007, so a lot of thing gotta change, hopefully in the special effects department. And with a lot of those changes, because there was a big cast change up when they recast the role of her younger sister. How has that changed with the re-shoots and the whole dynamic of the show? How has that changed what you initially thought of it? I think that they are… I mean, even if I'm talking to Michelle about it, I think that Lucy is a good fit. And I think that sometimes things don't work, that's why you should apply less so you can see if it works or not. Mae Whitman is incredible, she's so talented, it'd be great. And the fact that she was tapped originally in the original, I can see why they wanted to do that. It makes it great and interesting, but it also makes it very difficult to write. It does make it more complicated in making sure she gets out there and growing as a character, and having some dialogue. For me personally, dialogue is the easiest way of communicating, so I think that's why they changed it. But really, I don't know. I mean, cast changes happen all the time from pilot to series. And I do have to ask you, because the big announcement recently was that Isaiah Washington joined for a stint on the show. I'm just wondering what was your and what was the rest of the cast's reaction to that hire? The rest of the cast that I've spoken to about it are giving no feeling on it, which is their response. I think that they are doing their job the best that they can do it. It's up to the network to hire a good actor, and Isaiah Washington is a very good actor. So when I found out, “Oh, that's interesting.” It's somewhat risky because of all the controversy that they've had, but I don't think that they're hiring him based on anything else but the fact that he's a very talented actor, and they think that he's great for the role. So in that regard, I trust in them and I trust in the show. And what are you doing now, are you filming, what episode are you on? I just did some reshoots for the pilot, and right now I'm actually starting something called Secret Society, so I'm kind of in the middle of everything. So is that going to interfere with Bionic Woman? Are you going to take some episodes off, or…? No, I'm not. I'm recurring on Bionic Woman, I'm in and out of the show. So it's perfect for me, because it gives me time to go out and do other stuff, which is what I really want to do. Bionic has been perfect the way it's set up for me, I can come in and come out when I need to. So is there a set number of episodes that you appear in? Not yet, we'll find that out a little later on, I think. With all the re-shoots, we're re-shooting the pilot, we had three units going at once. Like, they're shooting three different episodes at the same time. So they're pretty all over the place right now, just making sure everything's caught up and ready to go. And has there been one line or moment or scene that you've already shot, that you're particularly proud of, or that you really enjoy doing? We have a really funny scene where I speak about how I work at the bar, and how some people are jerk-offs. And actually Glen wrote that scene, and I used to bartend for years, and Glen and I used to have these conversations about bartending about how I thought these people were jerks, and I would tell him, and he wrote it into the script. I thought it was so funny. That definitely has to make it a little easier, when you're just reading things that you've already said. I know. I read it and I was like, “Wait a minute, this is totally what I told you.” And he's like, “I know, you were a bartender, I was asking you for a reason.” So that was a really funny moment that I was really excited about, it's like this was perfect, because I know exactly how these girls feel.
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